Oprah reveals if she still stands by Leaving Neverland

Dan Seddon
Photo credit: CBS Photo Archive - Getty Images

From Digital Spy

Note: The following article contains discussion of sexual misconduct allegations that some readers may find upsetting.

Oprah Winfrey has discussed why she's unwavering in her support of Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland.

The highly-divisive documentary, directed by Dan Reed, has been the topic of much discussion since its release. Many viewers were left unsure what to believe about the film's hard-hitting revelations, with the Jackson estate calling the allegations "tabloid character assasination".

Despite the directer defending them and the version of events portrayed in his film, alleged victims James Safechuck and Wade Robson have been accused of lying. Some dates, it is claimed, don't match up to some of their allegations against the King of Pop.

But Oprah disagrees with this particular discrediting tactic, as she revealed in an interview on The Daily Show.

"You wanna know why I've not wavered?" she said. "Because I've had girls at my school who were sexually assaulted and abused, and I have never won a case. And the reason why I have never won a case is because when you put a girl on the witness stand, and she can't remember was it Thursday or Wednesday, it's automatically discredited.

"And so, when you're in the midst of trauma, some terrible things happening to you, you may not remember the exact time. It's why, if I hear like a noise or something at my house, I'll like, look at the time, 'cause they're gonna ask what time was it, 'oh my god what time is it?'".

Oprah continued: "If you can't remember the day and the time and the dada dada, everybody's like 'Well, okay, I guess it never happened'. I've been through that, so no."

Photo credit: Channel 4 - Channel 4

Related: HBO responds to claim Leaving Neverland has been pulled from its network

The talkshow host then weighed in on how much "hateration" she's received from social media users for defending the doc, saying: "I haven't had that much hateration since I did 'The Puppy Episode' with Ellen (DeGeneres). Imagine if that had happened now and you had social media... so I had a lot of hateration.

"When I first saw that documentary, I realised that a lot of people are going to get triggered, are going to be triggered by watching it, and that a lot of people will not understand what the pattern is, 'cause I had done 217 shows trying to get people to understand that it's not about one person, that it's about the pattern, it's about the seduction and people call it molestation.

"But there is a big seducing that goes on, and the pattern of that seducing, and that was important enough for me to take the hateration for."

Rape Crisis England and Wales works towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct. If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.

Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.

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